We were exploring the idea of North, musically, when we programmed this show. Since then, both performers have travelled elsewhere, but they still offer compelling music and imagery, and we anticipate an exciting evening of music from both Kevin Closs and Flying Hórses.
Sudbury-based singer-songwriter Kevin Closs has followed his musical mentor Ian Tamblyn to Earth’s frigid zones and discovered his muse.
Kevin has just begun recording new music composed while working for G Adventures, a Canadian adventure tourism operator. For the last three years Kevin has worked as a guide and onboard musician for the company. He has spent two seasons in Svalbard and just returned from seven weeks visiting the Antarctic peninsula.
Recently he wrote a powerful new environmental ballad while sailing with the cruise ship, M/S Expedition. (He recorded it in the hold, uploaded it to Soundcloud, and had it in our hands in less than 24 hours — how’s that for hi-tech? — ED.)
Upon returning from his travels Kevin began work on his 12th independent album with the support of the Ontario Arts Council. The first single, “A Blue Whale’s Lament”, has just been released internationally and has already resonated deeply with those who have heard it.
Kevin also took incredible photos while both North and South — and in a first for Folkus, we will be having visual as well as audio in the show. This won’t be like your grandpa’s slideshow: we promise there won’t be any thumbs.
Flying Hórses is the stage name for Jade Bergeron, an ambitious nouveau classical composer. She went to Iceland to work on her last album, Tölt, with Sigur Rós’ producer, Biggi Birgisson, at Sundlaugin Studio in Iceland. She recently completed a residency at the Banff Centre, and has spent time in Almonte getting close to the Steinway Grand in the Almonte Old Town Hall. She will be giving the Steinway a thorough workout!.
Here is Flying Hórses’ amazing video, also entitled Tölt, which was nominated for the Prism Prize, in the company of Leonard Cohen, Drake, and Feist.
Big, little, giants…we have an unintended theme for this show. Both groups feature soaring sounds — Big Little Lions feature strong vocal harmonies, while Outside I’m A Giant build on fiddle, pedal steel, and a deep baritone voice.
Big Little Lions are Helen Austin and Paul Otten — they work long distance (she’s in BC, he’s in Ohio), but sound like they’re always side by side. They’re currently touring in support of their fourth album, Alive and Well, released February 23rd. Like their previous album, Just Keep Moving, it is beautifully crafted, balancing a range of instruments (guitar, banjo, violin, and keys, along with whistles, handclaps, accordion, and harmonica) in support of their voices and lyrics.
Our opener for this show will be Outside I’m a Giant, a talented trio from the Gatineau side of the Valley. They released their first full-length recording, Point Comfort at the Black Sheep Inn this fall. Their folky sound is anchored by deep baritone voice of lead singer-songwriter Jérémi Pierre Caron, multiple instruments in the hands of Samuelle Desjardins, and the haunting pedal steel of Pascal Desgagné.
Big Little Lions Family Matinee – 3:00 pm, March 24 at the Almonte Old Town Hall
As a special treat for families, we will be offering a 45-minute, family-friendly afternoon show with Big Little Lions. The music will be much the same, but the beverages will be kid-appropriate, and dancing is definitely encouraged, as are clapping, singing along, and twirling.
Before Big Little Lions, singer Helen Austin had an award-winning career as a children’s songwriter (2014 Juno Award for Colour It, produced by Paul Otten, as well as a Canadian Folk Music Award plus a number of international songwriting awards). Big Little Lions’ cheerful songs can entertain kids without driving parents crazy. Whether you can’t find a sitter, or you don’t want to leave the kids behind, this will be a great afternoon outing. Admission is $15/person, or $50/family. Children under three are free. Tickets for this show will be available online on our tickets page at and at the door (cash only, please).
Their new single, Find Your Tribe, was recently on the CBC Music Top Twenty!
The Folkus 2018 season got off to a great start on January 27th. Pakenham native Brad Scott opened the show with his infectious style of playing, and Amanda Rheaume’s trio had the hall on its feet with an extended set at this sold out concert. What a great way to beat the winter blues.
Click to enlarge photos (by Rick Scholes).
Don’t forget to get your tickets to the Sussex show on Feb 24th. It promises to be another fantastic night of music.
Sandy Irvin, Artistic Director of the Folkus Concert Series, was interviewed this morning on CKCU 93.1. If you’d like to have a listen, you can do so here:
Monday Special Blend
Monday January 15th, 2018 with Trish Bolechowsky
Chat with Ali McCormick – at Irene’s Friday. Chat with Sandy Irvin – Folkus Series. Chat with Olga Tkachuk about Food Sharing Ottawa.
Amanda Rheaume has been a stalwart of the Canadian Roots scene for a number of years, and she is a touring veteran, having played across Canada (coast to coast to coast), Europe, The United Kingdom, Faroe Islands, the USA, and Central America. She has even played for Canadian Forces troops in Afghanistan (three times!). Amanda Rheaume won a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award was nominated for a Juno in the same year. She is blessed with a warm, pure, voice, an ear for a melody, and a strong sense of storytelling.
Her latest album, Holding Patterns, was in the player is one of our Artistic Director’s favourites from the last year: moving from the pure folk storytelling of The Day The Mountain Fell to the bluesy rock of Blood From A Stone, the music is consistently uplifting. The songs are touching, heartfelt, and delightful, and the production is outstanding.
Rheaume will be joining us shortly after a return from a songwriting trip to Nashville, and she promises a few new songs to share with us. We just confirmed that Rheaume will be joined by longtime sidemen Anders Drerup (guitar, pedal steel, vocals — you may remember him for his work with the Claytones, with Kelly Prescott and on the Grievous Angel project) and Leonardo Valvassori (bass and assorted sounds — Valvassori has been a Muffin, a Hawk and a Homewrecker!). This will be one of her last trio shows before her next tour, so it promises to be especially intimate.
Pakenham native Bradley D. Scott will be opening for Amanda Rheaume. He’s a versatile player, lending his talents to local bands, singing originals and covers all over the Valley, and writing scores for video games, among other gigs (such is the life of a modern musician). He released his first solo album, New Frontier, in 2017.
Individual tickets for this concert on January 27th, 2018 at Almonte’s Old Town Hall are now on sale.